Wisconsin bratwurst with kraut. However, this year's turkey feast makes me wonder if we should capitalize on that heritage a bit more often.
Peef first spied the recipe for Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausages in the latest issue of Saveur magazine.
"You've got to take a look at this," Peef said, with that tell-tale drooly look on his face that not-so-secretly declared that he'd experienced love at first sight.
I perused the recipe, first noticing that it called for four pounds of raw sauerkraut. FOUR POUNDS. I almost shut down right then and there. After all, four pounds of high quality raw kraut could run upwards of $50 in these parts... unless of course, you know someone who's brewing up a nice 5 gallon crock of fresh kraut made with local cabbage. Heh.
I immediately emailed my friend Steph to see if she could part with four pounds of her kraut. Upon her affirmative response, the challenge was ON.
Bottles of Riesling. Check.
Locally grown Black Willow Twig apples. Check.
Once we had gathered all the ingredients and thawed the turkey, the process was simple. There was no brine. No overnight marination. No puttering or futzing. Just a few simple steps.
We joked that our house was sure to smell like a nursing home with all that kraut cooking away in the oven. But, the truth is, it wasn't until the last half-hour of baking that we began to smell the delicious odor of the roasted bird -- seeping quietly and subtly out from under the oven door. It was like a perfume. Barely sweet, scented with juniper and garlic, and not nearly as "cabbagey" as I'd expected.
It was the easiest turkey I've ever made. And quite possibly one of the most delicious. The breast meat was meltingly tender, and the dark meat was succulent -- vaguely redolent of the sweetness of the apples, the savory notes of the saurkraut, and the perfume of those mysteriously piney juniper berries, it was a perfect match for the bottle of German Riesling we chose to serve with dinner.
Turkey with Riesling & Sauerkraut
Herbed Stuffing with Mustard Greens
©BURP! Where Food Happens
Want more? Read Lo's latest ruminations at FOODCrush, her Milwaukee Magazine blog.